Picking Up a Rental Car Late: Late Fees at Enterprise, Hertz, Budget, etc

You know that returning a rental car late will typically result in extra fees, but what happens when you pick up a rental car late? The answer usually depends on a few things, including whether you prepaid for your rental and how late you are picking it up.

Read on to find out more about what happens when you pick up your car rental late, including after the rental place closes, and whether you’ll be charged a fee for late car rental pickup. We’ve covered all major car rental companies — Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and more. Is picking up rental cars late the end of the world…?

Fees for Late Pickup and No-Shows

There are various measures that car rental companies can take when you’re late to pick up your rental. The first thing you should know is that there are usually different policies with respect to picking up a rental car late depending on whether you prepaid for your car rental, or simply reserved one with a valid credit card (what’s called a “guaranteed reservation”).

Generally, if you make a guaranteed reservation and don’t pre-pay for the rental, there are no fees for late pickup, or for not showing up to claim your rental (no-show). However, the rental company will not hold your vehicle beyond their late policy time and you may not be able to rent the vehicle you reserved. You may also have to pay a different rental rate depending on what’s available when you arrive late.

If you have a prepaid car rental, there are typically no fees for late pick up, although your reserved vehicle will not be held beyond the rental company’s late policy time and you may have to rent a different vehicle at different rates. If you don’t show up on the day you reserved your rental, or arrive after the car rental company is closed, you’ll be considered a “no-show” and charged a fee that can range anywhere from a few dollars to the entire cost of the rental.

Fees for Cancelling

If you decide to cancel your prepaid reservation, you may also incur cancellation fees that can be up to and including the entire cost of the rental. However, most car rental companies will allow you to cancel a prepaid reservation for a full or partial refund if you give notice within a certain time period.

In many cases, cancellation fees don’t apply to guaranteed reservations. For the companies that do charge fees for guaranteed reservations, they’re usually lower than the cancellation fees for prepaid reservations.

Pro tip: See this article to check if company you rented from will let you drop off at a closer location

Details by Company

We’ve listed all the major car rental companies, along with their policies and fees for late pickup, cancellations, and no-show reservations. The following fees typically apply to prepaid reservations only, although in some cases, fees are applied to guaranteed reservations.

1. ACE Rent a Car

  • Late pickup policy: Reservations are honored up to two hours beyond your scheduled pickup time.
  • Cancellation fees: No fees if cancelled with at least 24 hours’ notice; full amount of reservation if cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice
  • No-show fee: Full amount of reservation
  • Additional policies: Cancellation and no-show fees do not apply to the “Reserve Pay On Arrival” option (guaranteed reservation)
  • Source: Ace Rent a Car FAQs and customer service representative
  • Rent a car with ACE

2. Advantage Rent A Car

  • Late pickup policy: Reservations are honored for the entire day that the rental pickup is scheduled.
  • Cancellation fees: $50 if canceled with at least 24 hours’ notice; full amount of reservation if cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice
  • No-show fee: Full amount of reservation
  • Additional policies: For rentals booked through third-party websites, cancellations with at least 24 hours’ notice are fully refunded; cancellations with less than 24 hours’ notice are charged a fee of one full rental day
  • Source: Advantage Contact Us page (select a location to view specific policies)
  • Rent a car with Advantage
  • Check this article to see you you can get a military discount

3. Alamo Rent A Car

  • Late pickup policy: Reservations are honored until the end of the business day, or for 12 hours from the pickup time, whichever comes first.
  • Cancellation fees:
    • Guaranteed reservation: No fee if cancelled with at least 24 hours’ notice; $50 if cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice
    • Prepaid reservation: $50 if cancelled with at least 24 hours’ notice; $100 if cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice
  • No-show fee:
    • Guaranteed reservation: $50
    • Prepaid reservation: $100
  • Additional policies: None
  • Source: Alamo Modify or Cancel a Car Reservation
  • Rent a car with Alamo

4. Avis Rent a Car

  • Late pickup policy: Reservations are honored until the end of the business day
  • Cancellation fees: No fee if cancelled with at least 24 hours’ notice; varying fee from $10 to one full day’s rental if cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice
  • No-show fee: Varies from $10 to one full day’s rental
  • Additional policies: Cancellation and no-show fees apply only to reservations made through the Avis telephone reservation center for select car categories, and for certain promotions through the Avis website. If you rent from an airport location and your flight is cancelled, the cancellation fee is waived.
  • Source: Avis Car Rental FAQs
  • Rent a car with Avis

5. Budget Rent A Car

  • Late pickup policy: Reservations are honored up to one hour after the scheduled pickup time, with the exception of delayed flights at airport rental locations. For delayed flights, reservations are honored up to a “reasonable” time after landing for customers to clear the baggage claim area and arrive at the Budget counter.
  • Cancellation fees:
    • Guaranteed reservation: No fee if cancelled with at least 48 hours’ notice; $75 fee if cancelled with less than 48 hours’ notice
    • Prepaid reservation: $50 if cancelled at any point before reservation pickup time
  • No-show fee:
    • Guaranteed reservation: $75
    • Prepaid reservation: $150
  • Additional policies: Cancellation and no-show fees do not apply to reservations made without using a credit card.
  • Source: Budget Rental Service FAQs
  • Rent a car with Budget

6. Dollar Rent A Car

  • Late pickup policy: Reservations are honored up to two hours after the pickup time at non-airport locations and six hours after the pickup time at airport locations.
  • Cancellation fees: $50 if cancelled with at least 24 hours’ notice; $100 if cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice
  • No-show fee: Full amount of rental
  • Additional policies: Cancellation and no-show fees do not apply to guaranteed reservations
  • Source: Dollar Prepay Terms and Conditions
  • Rent a car with Dollar

7. Enterprise Rent-A-Car

  • Late pickup policy: Reservations are honored up to two hours after the scheduled pickup time. For delayed flights, reservations are honored up to two hours after the actual landing time.
  • Cancellation fees: $50 if cancelled with at least 24 hours’ notice; $100 if cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice
  • No-show fee: $100
  • Additional policies: Cancellation and no-show fees do not apply to guaranteed reservations
  • Source: Enterprise Car Rental Cancellation and Chance Policy
  • Rent a car with Enterprise

8. EZ Rent-A-Car

  • Late pickup policy: Reservations are honored for the entire day that the rental pickup is scheduled. Renters who arrive the day after a reservation are considered no-shows.
  • Cancellation fees: $50 if canceled with at least 24 hours’ notice; full amount of reservation if cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice
  • No-show fee: Full amount of reservation
  • Additional policies: For rentals booked through third-party websites, cancellations with at least 24 hours’ notice are fully refunded; cancellations with less than 24 hours’ notice are charged a fee of one full rental day
  • Source: EZ Rent-A-Car Contact Us (select a location under ‘Location Policies’ to view the terms)
  • Rent a car with EZ Rent-A-Car

9. FOX Rent A Car

  • Late pickup policy: Reservations are honored up to 12 hours after the scheduled pickup time
  • Cancellation fees: $70 if cancelled with at least 24 hours’ notice; full amount of rental if cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice
  • No-show fee: Full amount of rental
  • Additional policies: Cancellation and no-show fees do not apply to “Pay Now” reservations (guaranteed reservations)
  • Source: Car Rental Location Policies – Fox Rent A Car (select a location to view specific policies)
  • Rent a car with FOX

10. Getaround

NOTE: Getaround is a car-sharing service where individual owners rent their personal vehicles through an app.

  • Late pickup policy: Varies according to vehicle owner. For specific late pickup policies, use the “Contact the Owner” link within the Getaround app for the vehicle you’re renting.
  • Cancellation fees: No fee if cancelled with at least 24 hours’ notice; 50% of total trip cost if cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice
  • No-show fee: 50% of total trip cost
  • Additional policies: None
  • Source: Getaround How Do I Cancel a Trip? page and customer service
  • Rent a car with Getaround (sign in with Facebook to start using the site)

11. Hertz

  • Late pickup policy:
    • Guaranteed reservations: Reservations will be honored for one hour past the pickup time at non-airport/non-railway locations and two hours past the pickup time at airport/railway locations. Hold time extended to two hours at all locations for Hertz Gold Plus Rewards members.
    • Prepaid reservations: Reservations will be honored until the close of the business day at airport/railway locations and for two hours past the pickup time at non-airport/non-railway locations.
  • Cancellation fees: No fee if cancelled at least seven days before pickup; $60 if cancelled less than seven days before pickup
  • No-show fee: $130
  • Additional policies: Cancellation and no-show fees do not apply to guaranteed reservations
  • Source: Hertz Rental Qualifications and Requirements
  • Rent a car with Hertz

12. National Car Rental

  • Late pickup policy: Reservations are honored until the end of the business day, or for 12 hours from the pickup time, whichever comes first.
  • Cancellation fees: None
  • No-show fee: None
  • Additional policies: National does not offer prepaid car rental reservations and does not charge cancellation or no-show fees for guaranteed reservations.
  • Source: Customer service representative
  • Rent a car with National

13. Payless Car Rental

  • Late pickup policy: Reservations are honored for the entire day that the rental pickup is scheduled. Renters who arrive the day after a reservation are considered no-shows.
  • Cancellation fees: $50 if cancelled with at least 48 hours notice; full amount of rental if cancelled with less than 48 hours’ notice.
  • No-show fee: Full amount of rental
  • Additional policies: Cancellation fees do not apply to guaranteed reservations. In some cases, no-show fees may be charged for guaranteed rentals; contact your nearest Payless Car Rental for details on no-show fees for guaranteed rentals.
  • Source: Payless Car Rental FAQs
  • Rent a car with Payless

14. Rent-A-Wreck

  • Late pickup policy: Reservations are honored until the end of the business day
  • Cancellation fees: No fee if cancelled with at least 24 hours’ notice; $25 if cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice
  • No-show fee: $25
  • Additional policies: None
  • Source: Customer service representative
  • Rent a car with Rent-A-Wreck

15. Sixt rent a car

  • Late pickup policy: Reservations are honored for up to one hour after the scheduled pickup time
  • Cancellation fees: Up to three days of rental rates, regardless of cancellation time
  • No-show fee: Up to three days of rental rates
  • Additional policies: Cancellation and no-show fees do not apply to guaranteed reservations
  • Source: Sixt rent a car FAQs
  • Rent a car with Sixt

16. Thrifty Car Rental

  • Late pickup policy: Reservations are honored up to two hours after the pickup time at non-airport locations and six hours after the pickup time at airport locations.
  • Cancellation fees: $50 if cancelled with at least 24 hours’ notice; $100 if cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice
  • No-show fee: Full amount of rental
  • Additional policies: Cancellation and no-show fees do not apply to guaranteed reservations
  • Source: Thrifty Program Terms and Conditions
  • Rent a car with Thrifty

17. Turo

NOTE: Turo is like Airbnb for cars. It’s largely worth considering for a wider selection of vehicles and a lower price (about 35% cheaper than traditional rental companies). Learn more in our article about If Turo is safe and worth it.

  • Late pickup policy: Varies according to vehicle owner. For specific late pickup policies, use the “Contact the Owner” link within the Turo app for the vehicle you’re renting.
  • Cancellation fees (Turo rates generally include a “trip cost” based on the length of rental and an additional “trip fee” per rental)
    • Less than one hour after booking: Full refund
    • One to seven days’ notice: Refunded for trip cost only
    • Less than 24 hours’ notice: No refund issued
  • No-show fee: Full amount of trip cost and trip fee
  • Additional policies: None
  • Source: Turo Cancellation Policy
  • Get $25 off your first Turo by using our Turo referral link

18. U-Save

  • Late pickup policy: Reservations are honored up to two hours after the scheduled pickup time
  • Cancellation fees
    • Guaranteed reservation: No fee if cancelled with at least 48 hours’ notice; one day of rental rates if cancelled with less than 48 hours’ notice.
    • Prepaid reservation: Full amount of rental, regardless of cancellation time
  • No-show fee
    • Guaranteed reservation: One day of rental rates
    • Prepaid reservation: Full amount of rental
  • Additional policies: None
  • Source: U-Save Policy Information
  • Rent a car with U-Save

19. Zipcar

Note: Zipcar is a car sharing services. Rentals are typically hourly or for a day.

  • Late pickup policy: You can pick up a reservation late. As Zipcar reservations are typically hourly, you must pick up your reservation before your scheduled time ends, and it you’re late, you’ll still have to pay for that time. Here’s our article on returning a Zipcar early.
  • Cancellation fees: For reservations less than eight hours long you have up to three hours before the start time; for reservations that are eight hours or longer: you have to do it at least 24 hours in advance. If you don’t cancel or change your reservation in time, you’re responsible for the full cost of the reservation.
  • No-show fee: No-shows are responsible for the entire cost of the reservation
  • Additional policies: You can always cancel or change your reservation up to 30 minutes after booking at no charge
  • Source: Zipcar Help Center — Cancelling a Reservation
  • Rent a car with Zipcar (you may be prompted to log in or become a member first)

In Summary

What happens when you pick up a rental car late depends on the type of reservation you made and the policies of the car rental company. If you make a guaranteed reservation that doesn’t charge your credit card, there are often no fees for late pickup or not showing up — although if you’re late to claim your rental, you may not be able to rent the same vehicle and your rental rates may change.

If you prepay for a car rental, there are often fees for late pickups, cancellations, and no-shows that vary widely between car rental companies. However, in most cases, you can get the full amount of a prepaid rental refunded if you cancel the reservation within a certain time frame, usually 24 to 48 hours.

Suggested Next Article: How You May End up on a Company’s “Do Not Rent” List

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